„While economic theory in general may be defined as the theory of how an economic condition or an economic development is determined within an institutional framework, the deals with how to judge whether one condition can be said to be better in some way than another and whether it is possible, by altering the institutional framework, to achieve a better condition than the present one.“

—  John Richard Hicks, Kenneth Arrow and John Hicks (1972) From Nobel Lectures, Economics 1969-1980, Editor Assar Lindbeck, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1992 ( online http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1972/presentation-speech.html)
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John Richard Hicks
1904 - 1989
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„[Neoinstitutional Economics... ] theory has made an indispensable contribution in recent times to advances of understanding in this area. But it seems to me that in the economics of institutions theory is now outstripping empirical research to an excessive extent. No doubt the same could be said of other fields in economics, but there is a particular point about this one. Theoretical modelling may or may not be more difficult in this field than in others, but empirical work is confronted by a special difficulty. Because economic institutions are complex, they do not lend themselves easily to quantitative measurement. Even in the respects in which they do, the data very often are not routinely collected by national statistical offices. As a result, the statistical approach which has become the bread and butter of applied economics is not straightforwardly applicable. Examples of it do exist, the literature on the economics of slavery being perhaps the most fully developed - not surprisingly because slavery is an institution that is sharply defined. But to a large extent the empirical literature has consisted of case-studies which are interesting but not necessarily representative, together with a certain amount on legal court cases, which are almost certainly not representative. Is this the best we can do? There is a challenge here on the empirical side to economists to see what is the best way forward.“

—  R. C. O. Matthews British economist 1927 - 2010

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„One of the best ways to economize in building is to economize on ugliness.“

—  Ernest Flagg American architect 1857 - 1947
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„No matter which way we go, it is no better than any other. It is all the same whether you achieve something or not, have faith or not, just as it is all the same whether you cry or remain silent.“

—  Emil M. Cioran, On the Heights of Despair
Context: Everything is possible, and yet nothing is. All is permitted, and yet again, nothing. No matter which way we go, it is no better than any other. It is all the same whether you achieve something or not, have faith or not, just as it’s all the same whether you cry or remain silent. There is an explanation for everything, and yet there is none. Everything is both real and unreal, normal and absurd, splendid and insipid. There is nothing worth more than anything else, nor any idea better than any other. Why grow sad from one’s sadness and delight in one’s joy? What does it matter whether our tears come from pleasure or pain? Love your unhappiness and hate your happiness, mix everything up, scramble it all! Be a snowflake dancing in the air, a flower floating downstream! Have courage when you don’t need to, and be a coward when you must be brave! Who knows? You may still be a winner! And if you lose, does it really matter? Is there anything to win in this world? All gain is loss, all loss is gain. Why always expect a definite stance, clear ideas, meaningful words? I feel as if I should spout fire in response to all the questions which were ever put, or not put, to me.

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„One can only wonder when the advocates of progressive economics will realize that, despite their best efforts, you cannot regulate your way to economic prosperity.“

—  Andrew Puzder American businessman 1950
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